May 4, 2023

Every Firm Needs an Accounting Technologist

By: Center For Accounting Transformation / podcast

Think that’s the same as IT? Think again.

In this episode of Transformation Talks, guest host Donny Shimamoto welcomes Dustin Wheeler from Eide Bailly. Wheeler discusses his role as the Accounting Technology Optimizer Implementer and Advisor, which helps not just his in-house team, but also all the Eide Bailly regional offices and the clients they serve.

Although his job description is two pages long, Wheeler said he serves as a resource to firm staff members and clients, especially those with unique accounting technology needs. He shares with Shimamoto his goals of expanding the firm’s use of cloud technologies.

“I try to find ways that we can automate repetitive tasks that our people are doing and optimize the technology that we’re currently using, and find technology that we can implement that would enhance our staff’s ability to provide advisory services and drive value to our outsourced accounting engagements.”

In addition to explaining how his job differs from IT, Wheeler also suggested ideas for introducing accounting innovations to staff and gaining adoption and how a “learn by doing” approach helps to build staff competency and is also a way to explore new solutions.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Host monthly staff training that allow team members to learn and use new technologies. Encourage hands-on learning and active participation. Host a quiz at the end and offer prizes to spark the competitive nature of your team.
  • Record training sessions and post videos where staff can access them for replay.
  • Identify goals for what must be done before the next meeting to ensure everyone is participating and applying what they’ve learned. 
  • Create training videos for clients, too. Allow them to access a library of information that they may be interested in learning.
  • Be a continuous learner. Always look for improved processes.
  • To get clients to adopt technology, sometimes you have to force them. If they won’t utilize the technology the firm has in place, you may need to fire the client.

Read more about Wheeler’s journey to his accounting technologist position, how his Tech Stack Champions help him, and how that model can be employed in firms of all sizes on CPA Trendlines.



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